2 Poems, by Wanda Deglane


on the bus ride back to phoenix,
rough 18 year old hands part your
15 year old knees. he whispers, I love
when you wear skirts. which is to say,
he loves easy access. he loves how
easy you are. he nuzzles your cheek
where stubble has already rubbed your
soft skin raw. your eyes wander out
the window, at strip malls and tiny brown
houses flying by like sun-trimmed
memories. you will your mind to
evaporate, your nerve-endings to die.
mouth too big for your mouth, tongue
swallowing the last of your self-esteem.
eyes piercing holes in you from all
directions. his hands are in your hair and
you’re thinking of how incomprehensibly
huge they are, of how much you want
to love him, if only to make this burn
a little number. you’re wondering
what it means to love in the first place


Sporadic Pieces of Memory

the flame color of sky through my squeezed eyelids
 man screaming about bitcoin on the light rail
   wasp sting on my finger, vision going in and out
clothes reeking of   fire
 nosebleed dripping thick down my throat early morning
wooden floorboards of a dojo,    sweaty half-hearted push ups
  stubble-coated kisses smashed against my lips
legs ripped from a doll,
                          her wheelchair made of cardboard
black cat’s cactus tongue on my chin
 heartbeat thrumming throughout my body,
   like a gong screaming RUN RUN RUN
 pigeon queen knocking rhythmically against my window at 8 am
sea of lemons spilled rotten on soil
 holding on to the walls at the skating rink   and sobbing
  quivering pregnancy test stuffed in purse
 roadside flowers kissing my dirty sneakers clean
avoiding the gazes of people I once loved
 bruises like wristbands fading to vomit green
the moon puckering its lips      in its fat yellow skull
 half light through broken, dusty window
hiding in the dryer, knees folded up to my face
  lungs choking on my father’s cologne
             sweat from fever, spine shivers
  green, sour berries we ate
           without checking for poison
flash of blue tongue and freezing wet socks
             my grandmother, screaming in her sleep,
               clutching broken ribs
              girl in the swimming pool, spitting in my face
                her slow, nasty smile
my mother wrenching my arm as  if to tear it from my body
             and eyes widening with softness, a voice
saying,    tell me when you were happiest.
  tell me everything.


— Published 3 October 2018


About Wanda Deglane

Wanda Deglane is a night-blooming desert flower from Arizona. She is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants and attends Arizona State University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and family & human development. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming from Rust + Moth, Glass Poetry, L’Ephemere Review, and Former Cactus, among other lovely places. Wanda is the author of Rainlily (2018) and Lady Saturn (Rhythm & Bones, 2019).